Not Only Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr., But Honoring Him.
“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” I love this quote from Martin Luthor King, Jr. I think about this quote every time I hear about another ignorant employer doing utterly stupid things. Working in the trenches of employment law, our employment discrimination lawyers get to observe first hand that there is still race discrimination raging in our county. But, it is not just about race. And those that remember Martin Luther King, Jr. as only a champion for race equality are selling his memory short.
Don’t just read and remember his “I Have A Dream” speech. Don’t just focus on the sound bites that are replayed by every media outlet. There are other speaches and sermons.
Another favorite quote: “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”
In late February 1954, King delivered the sermon to a large Baptist church in Detroit, in which he said: “The real problem is that through our scientific genius we’ve made of the world a neighborhood, but through our moral and spiritual genius we’ve failed to make of it a brotherhood … this is a moral universe, and … there are moral laws of the universe, just as abiding as the physical laws.” In 2015, the world is even more connected as a neighborhood than Dr. King probably ever could have imagined. Yet, despite this interconnectivity, are we any more of a brotherhood?
On April 4, 1967 in New York City, Dr. King gave his last sermon, The Drum Major Instinct.” In that sermon, he told the gathered crowd at, “let us look calmly and honestly at ourselves, and we will discover that we too have those same basic desires for recognition, for importance… We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade… It’s a good instinct if you don’t distort it and pervert it. Don’t give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be first in love. I want you to be first in moral excellence. I want you to be first in generosity.” This is not about race. It is about morality.
Even if you just want to focus on the “I Have A Dream” speech, don’t just read the excepts or listen to the soundbites. Read the whole darn thing. I do every year. No matter how busy. No matter the demand on our time. Dr. King deserves at least five minutes of my time. Here is the full text of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Take the five minutes and read it. Every time that I re-read this speech, something new strikes me. This time I get caught by this question posed by Dr. King: “There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, ‘When will you be satisfied?’” Right now, I can only say, not yet. Are you satisified?
Everyone knows this line: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Many focus of the “I have a dream…” portion of this sentence. Not me. For me, this line has always been about “the content of their character.” Think about that part and read the full quote of that line: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” You can be of any race, religion, national origin or sexual orientation and have good content of your character. The same is true in reverse.
You may have thought that the “I Have A Dream” speech was just about race. It was not. Dr. King spoke of equality based on the deeds and character of each man, woman and child. In this speech, Dr. King told the gathered 250,000 civil rights supporters:
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
There are many employment law firms that take cases only if they have a certain value. Discrimination to them is a business decision. Not us. We will represent employees regardless of whether they are making $100,000 per year or minimum wage. For us, it is not a business decision but a moral decision. “We cannot walk alone. As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.” If you are facing any type of discrimination at work, we will walk with you.
– Brian Spitz
If you feel that you are being discriminated based on your race, whatever race that may be, then call the right attorney. Race discrimination includes being harassed, fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, and denied wages. When you call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040, you will meet with a race discrimination lawyer from Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm who will help you determine the best way to pursue your legal claims.
The materials available at the top of this race discrimination page and on this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking: “What should I do …”, “I’m being discriminated against …”, “my boss is discriminating against me because …” or “How do I …”, your best option is to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to race discrimination questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, attorney Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.